Paddy destroyed by Armyworm in Hiraminiya, Banke. Farmers from Hiraminiya show paddy plants destroyed by Armyworm. Photos: Arjun Oli/Republica
KHOTANG, Oct 21: The outbreak of armyworm is seen in different places of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality in Khotang district where millet and paddy have been planted. Before this, the pest destroyed maize in the same municipality.
According to Mayor Iwan Rai, among the 11 wards of the municipality, Rajapani, Dhitung, Durchhim, and Mangaltar are suffering from armyworm attack on millet and paddy. “At first armyworm destroyed maize,” he said, “Now it is damaging millet.”
Farmers are worried as the worm has now attacked millet and paddy, after doing the damage on maize. As the planted crop is totally destroyed by armyworm in different places, farmers are worried about famine.
The inch-long armyworms attack millet buds, causing it to decay. Farmers are asking for help to control the outbreak of the insect, according to Kishor Basnet, chairperson of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality. According to him, lower part of Khokseli and Ghopatar are most hit from the outbreak.
Yellow color mixed with dark green color, and three stripes running from head to tail, characterize armyworm. Besides food grain, it also completely destroys plants like sal, salla, khiruwa, khanyu, bakhri ghas, and khayar found in the forest. According to Puspa Raj Rai, a local
farmer, the efforts to control the pest by using pesticides has not been successful in Bahunidada in Halesi
Tuwachung Municipality-1 and Dikuwa in Halesi Tuwachung Municipality-2. The Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Co-operatives of Province 1 and Agriculture Development Directorate had provided pesticides named Imidacloprid 17.85% and SL to farmers on August 25 to spread in affected areas. Metacid also could not control the spread of armyworm.